Home RECIPESMain courses Tomato Orzo Risotto with Saffron, Mushrooms and Chorizo

Tomato Orzo Risotto with Saffron, Mushrooms and Chorizo

by Lorena

I’m a fan of Italian food and love making risotto. This orzo risotto with tomatoes, saffron, mushrooms and chorizo is easier to make than with rice and it’s extremely good.

Orzo or Risoni is the name of a rice-shaped pasta that is the perfect replacement for arborio rice. Just like with rice you need to cook it al dente so that it doesn’t turn to mush on the dish. The other good thing is that you can have all the ingredients cooked and ready in advance and then just finish by adding the cooked orzo before serving.

I love the flavours in this risotto. The tomato and saffron are a match made in heaven and the chorizo and mushrooms are there to add even more taste to the dish. It’s creamy, intense and highly addictive.



Tomato Orzo Risotto with Saffron, Mushrooms and Chorizo

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Course: Main, Main Course
Cuisine: Low
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 3 people
Author: Lorena Salinas from Cravings Journal

Ingredients

For the roasted cherry tomatoes

  • 12 cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 garlic clove

For the orzo risotto

  • 100 g spanish chorizo or italian chorizo
  • 100 g brown onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloved finely minced, ground or grated
  • pinch saffron
  • 300 g canned tomato + the tomato juice that it comes in**
  • 200 g portobello mushrooms or white button mushrooms
  • 200 g whipping cream
  • 4 sprigs thyme leaves only
  • 200 g orzo / risoni pasta
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

For the roasted cherry tomatoes

  • Place the tomatoes and garlic clove in a baking dish. Season with salt and pepper and mix with the olive oil. Take to a preheated oven at 200C for 20-30min or until soft and starting to become golden. Set aside.

For the orzo risotto

  • Toast the saffron on low heat mixing constantly. When you feel its aroma remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Cut the chorizo in half moons and cook on medium-low heat to allow it to release its fat. Once cooked remove and set aside.
  • Cook the onion in the fat from the chorizo until soft and translucent. If you're going to make this into a veggie dish use olive oil instead and skip the chorizo.
  • Add garlic and cook for a minute.
  • Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until they release liquid and it all evaporates.
  • Add the tomatoes along with its juices to the pan and heat up. When you see steam coming out add the cream, salt, pepper, thyme and saffron.
  • Cook until 1/3 of the liquid has evaporated and it becomes creamy.
  • Add the cooked orzo or risoni. It should be cooked a bit before al dente. If you took it out of the water a while before make sure to mix it with olive oil so it doesn't stick. Finish cooking in the sauce.
  • Serve with the roasted cherry tomatoes and parmesan to taste.

Notes

** If you can't get canned tomatoes replace with 600g of fresh really ripe tomatoes that you need to peel and remove the seeds from. Also add 4tbsp of tomato paste along with the garlic and cook them together. After that add the finely chopped tomatoes. You can see how it looks on the turkey meatballs in tomato sauce video.
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